January 5, 2015

The Flow of Time, Science, and Archives

Here are a few milestones and interesting items to report for the New Year:

2014 was a good year for both space science and science in general. It's safe to say that the biggest story in science for 2014 was the successful landing of a probe (the Philae lander) on the surface of a comet (67p) by the European Space Agency. But the year was also not without dissapointments. Overall, many breakthrough findings and excellent papers occured in a number of fields. In the years ahead, it will be interesting to see what kinds of advances are made in 2015 from emerging work done during 2014.

If you are tired of celebrating another New Year according to the Gregorian calendar, here is an article from Futurity to make you consider an alternative. While the focus in this article is on the Hanke-Henry Permenant Calendar, there indeed is more than one way of dividing up the time it takes our planet to make a complete revolution around the Sun. This may or may not include calendars from other cultures, of course.

First milestone: The 24-year-old preprint server [1] arXiv published its one millionth (10^6th) paper on December 29, just in time for the new year. Despite being around for a quarter century, arXiv has become the template for an open access publishing revolution. Originally founded by Paul Ginsparg in 1991 [2], the bulk of the million paper total reflects impressive growth in the past several years.

The lifespan of the arXiv in terms of growth over time and abundance of articles by field. COURTESY: arXiv and [2].

Second milestone: By the end of Monday, January 5th, Synthetic Daisies will have reached 120,000 readers. Much like the arXiv, the bulk of this growth has occured in the last few years. The blog was started in December, 2008, so I also wish the blog a Happy 6th Birthday [3].

[1] Tomaiuolo, N.G. and Packer, J.G.   Pushing the Envelope of Electronic Scholarly Publishing. Searcher, 8(9), October (2000).

[2] Ginsparg, P.   arXiv at 20. Nature, 476, 145-147 (2011).

[3] Is this actually possible, or is it more like worshipping a fetish? I guess for purposes of good form, I should create an avatar that represents "the blog".

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